A startup CEO hired his personal trainer full-time to give exercise classes and nutritional advice to staff over Zoom. It shows how remote work is rewriting company wellbeing.
- With remote workers commuting less and working longer, companies are changing their approach to
- Fast hired a wellbeing director in order to keep staff healthy, per the San Francisco Chronicle.
- It represents a wider realignment of work perks following the pandemic.
With workers stuck at home, commuting less and working longer - companies must rethink their approach to wellbeing.
Gym perks and free healthy lunches make less sense in a world of
In response, one startup has hired a wellbeing director to keep workers active and healthy.
Fast, a San Francisco based software company, hired former Royal Marine commando and fitness trainer Phil McDougall full-time for the purpose in May. He had initially worked as a personal trainer for company CEO Domm Holland, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
According to the newspaper, McDougall's full-time day starts before dawn, and he offers employees advice on improving their sleep, running daily, plus exercise classes over Zoom as well as nutritional and mental health guidance.
He's part of a wider 'people experience team' employed by the company that works to improve the benefits and culture at the company, based on feedback from employees, Peter Grassi, Fast's director of talent acquisition told the newspaper.
Fast's San Francisco office is only open to vaccinated workers, and many are working remotely. As the company expands McDougall told the newspaper that he is hoping to add an assistant, and is also creating a prerecorded library of routines and talks in order to help more employees have access.
A change in tech company perks
The pandemic and the realignment of work means companies are rethinking employee perks more generally.
With people in the office less - the most common favored hybrid model is two to three days - many are worried that
Some are turning their focus on ensuring that the home office is enjoyable in order to retain staff and look after their wellbeing.
Dropbox, the file hosting firm, is offering employees $7,000 a year allowance for "home-office amenities" and other perks, including trainers, music lessons, and parental support.
The Million Dollar Baby Co, which manufactures baby furniture gives employees $700 'paid-vacation' to put towards trips, on the caveat that they share what they learned with their colleagues.
A survey by Care.com - which helps families find carers - suggested that 98% of 500 HR leaders polled plan to offer at least one more employee benefit in the wake of the pandemic.
In October, the Dutch government-backed research group NIBUD, which specializes in family finances, estimated that employers should reimburse home working employees as much as $2.40 a day for coffee and toilet paper used at home.
The pandemic offers a chance for employers to rethink their approach to perks, Andrew Mawson, founder of consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates, told Insider.
"A company doesn't necessarily have to spend more, but instead be smarter about what they spend their money on to help make their 'benefits package' a differentiator in attracting and retaining talent."
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